Tori appeared on the radio show "Morning Becomes Eclectic" on Santa Monica, CA radio station KCRW 89.9 on Tuesday, December 17, 2002. Tori performed 7 songs solo at the piano and was interviewed by host Nic Harcourt. They were:
Listen to Tori's December 17 appearance on "Morning Becomes Eclectic" in streaming audio at KCRW's web site.
You can also listen to an RealAudio stream of this show at soundseclectic.com.
Look before for a full transcript from the show and details from some Toriphiles who either heard it or were there.
Thanks to Heather Mayes for this transcript!
A: Announcer Nic Harcourt
T: Tori Amos
A: Its 20 minutes after 11 and Im Nic Harcourt. Its morning becomes eclectic at 89.9 KCRW. Tori Amos is in town for a show at the Universal Amphitheaters and in Studios of KCRM this morning. Welcome!
A: Nice to see you.
T: How are you?
A: Congratulations on the new record. Its Scarlets Walk and obviously your out touring and do all sorts of things around it so we appreciate you taking the time to come in and play for us this morning.
T: Its fun. Its something different for me.
A: Good, well Im going to let you play and then I think we are going to come back in about 15 minutes and see what we end up talking about.
Plays Mrs. Jesus
A: Its morning becomes eclectic at 89.9 KCRW with selection of music from Tori Amos new album; Its called Scarlets Walk. Toris in the studios with us this morning. Thanks for coming in as we said.
A: Im guessing you dont get to much of an opportunity to perform these songs solo, at least right now cause your on tour with the band, right?
T: Exactly yeah.
A: Um, but you write the songs on the piano, and Im imagining you sort of sitting in your house in England, sort of working these songs out. Can you tell us a little bit about this collection of songs.
T: Um, some of them started when I was pregnant with my daughter Tash, Natasha, and um little seeds would come. I played a lot when I was pregnant and um, she seemed to like it. And uh, it wasnt cohesive at the time. So when I was on the road last year, touring strange little girls, things started to come together. Maybe because I was on the road and it all started to make sense.
A: How old is your daughter now?
T: Shes 2.
A: 2 years old, I remember, its actually a long time since I interviewed you but the last time I interviewed you, before I even came to LA, the last part of our conversation at that time is that I was asking you what you were going to be up to next, and you said, I want a baby. I think it happened about 6 years after I interviewed you but
T: Yeah probably, it was a long road
A: What kind of difference has that made to your writing?
T: Well maybe um, becoming a mom made me think about mothering my own mother, my true mother, which is the soul of the creature we call America.
A: Well, lets talk about that then because the album and the way the album came out and a lot of the songs really is, very much a reflection of that isnt it?
T: Yeah, I guess my grandfather, he told me stories. He was eastern Cherokee and he would tell me stories about his ancestors escaping the trail of tears and their walk and their spiritual beliefs and they felt they were caretakers for our true mother. And it was instilled in me but I guess I didnt think about it in this way until I became a mother myself. And I always hear his saying in my ear, ya know, Ive put a chip underneath your skin and you will remember.
A: The stories that he told you when you were a kid, little girl growing up .
T: So I started to tell her some of the stories when I couldnt get her to sleep. In the other way, I mean nothing worked. I even tried ACDC to get her to sleep
So finally I would just talk to her and tell her some of the stories that I remember and she would just calm down and I think that my relationship with the country, especially I guess being in NY on the 11th of last year, I began to see people relating to America as an alive being. And I crossed the country touring at that time, and a lot of people would speak about it. Speak in ways that they dont normally speak. So that was different, the way that people started to talk about her. Whether it was a mother or a friend or a creature that was alive. She wasnt an object anymore. And the main thing that people were brining up was, Is she in the right hands?? Are we putting our true mother in hands that are protecting her?? Good question.
A: It certainly is a good question
And as you finished writing these songs then Im guessing that they were already infused with what you were talking about earlier, the fact that when you were pregnant you started writing these songs and then you started telling some of these stories to your daughter and then obviously this momentous event happened in September of last year. How did that shift the direction of this collection?
T: Well with some of these songs, I was seeing seeds that America was a character in the story. So that the story, its a sonic novel, the is story is scarlet, who is any person, any women really. The men are very tera firma in the story and there are quite a lot of them in the story. HURRAY! Husband asked me about that but we ironed that out now. And so, it starts with Scarlet seeing her friend Amber Waves. She gets a phone call and amber is a porn star, not doing so well. And so Scarlet goes to see her. And she has no idea that thats going to change her life. Amber waves is, of course, America personified and a real woman flesh and blood. And you see America showing up in the other female characters of the story. Slivers of women, America embodying them, shape shifting, the Native American concept that you can shape shift form.
A: Now you have lived in England for quite some time now, and record most of the time over in the UK as well right?
A: When you are sitting in the studio and obviously pulling in other musicians to help bring your ideas to fruition and adding other element to the music, now we change a little bit b/c we got the story and the lyrics but then weve also got the music. How did you approach the music and tell us about the kind of people that you brought into to help you flush out the songs on this. You use guitars on this record probably more so than in the past.
T: Yes I Did. I used a lot of guitar players, 3. First Matt Chamberlin was brought in, whos a long time collaborator. My favorite drummer in the world.
A: Great drummer.
T: And he um, he had been hearing about the story and I had been talking to him about it and when he showed up, he showed up alone first. And, we looked at it geographically and we looked at it culturally and the different cultures that had put there heart and there live into the land that the songs were tired too. So the songs were tied to the land, very much like song lines. So, we would build the rhythm based on where they were born. He is part Navaho so both of us were, I think, tapping into this the way of looking at rhythm how it is tied with the land. And then Jon Evans, long time collaborator, base player, he was the next to come in. And then the guitar players Robbie McEntosh, David Torne, and Maka Laden. Matt introduced me to him. And it was so great.
A: So everybody basically came in and the music built as everybodys coming in and contributing on top of what you started off with, which was obviously the rhythm of the piano and the percussion.
T: Yes, but they all knew where it was occurring. There were maps everywhere. There were Native American maps so there were layers of the maps to see, the people that held the land and hold the land opposed to the people that own the land. But thats also integrated too.
A: Well Im interested now that the record has come out and you being Chris-Crossing the country again, this time around with this record playing these songs, youve been out for what 6 weeks or something like that. Umm, Im sure that your fans are there at the shows and they are going to enjoy the music regardless, but is there anything specific or perceptive that you have noticed form the people coming from the shows this time around. Because this is post 9-11.
T: Yes but this is pre-scary stuff too. We are in the middle of scary stuff, as we all know. So people are maybe not as bashful to raise their hand because as we all know, there was a tone, there was a feeling that if you questioned what our government was doing post 9-11, then you were betraying your country which I found very offensive. Shes my true mother and sometimes to protect our true mother we have to ask questions, Is this right for her course?? Is this the direction she needs to go not for the agenda for us? Sometimes what we need as her children what we want, what our desires are different than what her needs are. And this is something I begun to see. We do round tables at a lot of the shows, colleges are coming. And there is an activism that Im seeing in the university, a torch is being picked up that was not picked up previously.
A: You answered my question
my next question was going to be, Are you sensing any shift because Im kinda sensing it out there and I guess you are as you are traveling.
T: Across the country, yes.
A: Well, we dont have that much time left and I would like to hear the rest of the music obviously so I think ill throw It back to you. When we come back at the end of the next set, we have a giveaway. We are going to give away a few tickets for the show tonight as well. How much longer have you got left on this tour? Then I guess you are caring on in Europe is that right?
T: Yes, we do LA a couple of nights, San Francisco a couple of nights then we start in Europe and then we come back for our second leg in America in February
A: Oh, ok. Well Im going to let it go back to you and its Tori Amos live on morning becomes eclectic.
Plays Your Cloud
Plays Amber Waves
A: Its morning becomes eclectic at 89.9 KCRW Tori Amos our guest this morning. Thank you so much coming in. Its good to see you again.
T: Thank you Nic.
A: And good luck with the rest of the tour and thank you for speaking about the truths that you feel in your music. Appreciate it.
From Flor San Roman:
Host Nic Harcourt's was warm but vert short and Tori gave barely a peep before starting to play. It was just Tori and her Bösey (at least I think that was her Bösey).
The intro I didn't recognized but it led into "Mrs. Jesus," then "pancake," "Strange" and "Wednesday."
When the interview began Tori was very quiet. the last time she was on this show she was just thinking she would like to have a child (I'm not very sure if her last miscarriage had already happened or not). So of course they began talking about how having a child changed her approach to making music. She said that becoming a mother made her focus on her mother, her "real" mother: the soul of USA. She mentioned her grandfather and his stories of his ancestors on the Trail of Tears and how he told her of their spirituality and their belief in their stewardship of the land (country). Tori began recounting these stories to Natasha to get her to calm down and sleep (AC/DC apparently didn't work).
she began to relate these stories to America as she was on her last tour and the concepts began to come together back then. As fate would have it she was in New York on 9/11/01 and the characters immediately began to coalesce. She saw the soul of America was a woman named Scarlett, who proved to be inside of every woman and a part of every woman went in to creating Scarlett, molding and shifting in the shapeshifting tradition of native Americans. After America was attacked, which Tori saw *that america*, the *attacked* America as being Amber Waves, the porn star, a flesh-and-blood woman. Scarlett, the multitudes of women, the soul of America went to aid Amber Waves and the journey transformed her/them/us.
Tori talked about putting a new(ish) band together with Matt Chamberlain's help. Then she went back to talking about her views of the changes in the US, stating that it's very important to ask questions to make sure that the "true mother" is taken care of. She mentioned that in the first days after the attacks she noted that it was almost treasonous to question the president and other governmental figures, which she felt insulted by. After all the subject at hand was her *real* mother. She's seen this position taken up at the roundtable discussions that have occured at various colleges she's visited (or will be visiting? It got confusing...)
They finished by noting upcoming shows - tonight and tomorrow in LA, a couple dates in San Francisco and then off to Europe. She then mentioned that the second US leg starts in February.
then she played "Your Cloud," "Carbon" and "Amber Waves."
From Zachary Sire:
Hi there, just an FYI that Tori played songs from Scarlet's Walk and was interviewed live on Los Angeles radio station KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic" show with host Nic Harcourt. She played:
Mrs. Jesus, Pancake, Strange, Wednesday, Your Cloud, and Carbon, and closed with Amber Waves!
She had some interesting things to say in the interview about the direction of America and whether or not it was in the right hands, and that she found it offensive when our government criticized us for asking questions.
They ended the show with giving away tickets to her first LA show tonight. (I'll be at the 2nd one tomorrow, 5th row center!)
From Jeffrey Ball:
TORI was doing an hour on KCRW this morning. KCRW is a GREAT station - public radio and all they play what the F*^% they want! You can listen online too at 222.kcrw.com
JUST happens that KCRW is located in the basement of my college~! (Santa Monica College) I was there when she arrived in the lovely jet black SUV limo. They were running late so I did not bother her for pics and such then. After the show I was talking with two other fans that were there. One had come all the way from somewhere in SOUTH MEXICO for tonights show~! Tori came out and signed things. She was sweet and friendly as usual. And even though her people were trying to rush her off she said: No, we've a minute for a picture. So she took a pic with me and the two other fans that were there. (YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) AND even put her arm around me! (sigh) Can't wait to develope the piccy's. Can't wait for tonights show!